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In the News: Oakland Opens Testing Site for Frontline Workers

San Jose Mercury News reports on second testing site, operated by Brown & Toland Physicians

The San Jose Mercury News reported on Oakland's second testing site, this one is dedicated to frontline workers -- first responders, healthcare workers among them. Blue Shield of California has made multiple donations to organizations fighting the spread of the virus, including testing in Oakland. The Mercury News reports:

The new Oakland site is the parking lot of Henry J. Kaiser Convention Center and will be open Mondays through Saturdays. As many as 240 tests will be taken daily to determine who has contracted COVID-19, with results expected to take two to five days to be processed, Schaaf said.

Last week, Oakland opened a drive-thru testing site for first responders including police officers and firefighters, as well as city workers who are symptomatic and meet criteria to be tested.

Between the two drive-thru sites, the mayor said up to 500 tests total can be conducted every day. The city is also “scouting locations” for other possible testing sites, she said.

The Kaiser Convention site won’t be be open to the general public and Oakland organizations will need to contact the city to get their workers approved for testing, at, the mayor said. Those who qualify are healthcare providers including those who work in hospitals, clinics or a community health center; employees of grocery stores and food banks; restaurant workers; homeless service providers including shelter and outreach; funeral home providers; staff of childcare facilities; and staff of residential facilities and shelters for seniors, adults and children.

Doctors from Brown & Toland Physicians will do the testing and the operational support will be provided by La Clinica de la Raza, a local healthcare center. The tests will be sent to Lab Corps to process and return.

Read the full story here.

Blue Shield of California said in statement:

Congratulations to the team at Brown & Toland Physicians for their commitment to serving and protecting Bay area communities with this important testing initiative. It’s critical that we do all what we can to keep Californians safe and healthy right now, and that means testing extensively and effectively to contain this virus. Blue Shield is also working to support the task force appointed by Gov. Gavin Newsom to rapidly expand testing for COVID-19 throughout the state. Thank you to Mayor Schaaf for your leadership to launch the Oakland COVID-19 Relief Fund and for leaning in and being part of the public health solution to help Oaklanders and all Californians get through this.